Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mr. Rogers Who Was A British Soldier

Among the Letters Received By the Adjutant General, 1805 - 1821, was a letter to Secretary of War Henry Dearborn from William Rogers (and also one to President James Madison), who had served in the British military, and wanted an appointment in the U.S. Military in 1811.  His siblings lived in the United States and he had married a Quaker woman.

Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania  30 April 1811

"Being in London in 1797 I entered into the British Military Service in a Battalion of Infantry...".

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Marauding And Plundering


General George McClure from a Canadian point of view, from The War of 1812, Volume 11, by James Hannay:

The retirement of the British from the vicinity of Fort George gave General McClure a free hand for the practice of the only species of warfare in which he was competent to shine---that of marauding and plundering.

American soldiers were quartered on the inhabitants of Newark and the farm houses in its vicinity were systematically robbed by McClure's troops. This general had offered the friendship and protection of his government to the people of the Province, but these fine sounding words proved to be without meaning. Friendship and protection were only for those who would renounce their allegiance and cooperate with him in the work of making Upper Canada an American state. All others who preferred to remain British subjects were to be dragooned into submission.

Bands of American banditti scoured the country, pillaging and destroying the houses of the inhabitants, and carrying off the principal of them to the American side of the Niagara River where they were incarcerated in filthy dungeons.

Monday, April 28, 2014

His Loss Will Be Severely Felt

Fort Pike In Louisiana

From the Official letters of the military:



April 28th, 1813.


The enemy was repulsed by a far less number than their own; and as soon as general Pike landed with 7 or 800 men, and the remainder of the troops were pushing for the shore, the enemy retreated to their works...when the head of the columns was within about sixty rods of the enemy, a tremendous explosion occurred from a huge magazine prepared for the purpose, which discharged such immense quantities of stone, as to produce a most unfortunate effect on our troops. I have not yet been able to collect the returns of our killed and wounded, but our loss by the explosion, must, I fear, exceed 100; and among them, I have to lament the loss of the brave and excellent officer, brigadier general Pike, who received such a contusion from a large stone, as terminated his valuable life within a few hours. His loss will be severely felt. 

[Letter authored by General Dearborn]

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Anticipated Attack Upon York


"Rumours had been heard all during the winter of the preparations which were being made on the American side. Yeo and his sailors were still struggling through the snow from Halifax. There were no telegraphs in those days, and but one road, the Kingston road, which wound its way through the forests and the scattered settlements which fringed the shores of the lake. News came slowly. It was a time of expectancy and all Canada was waiting for the attack."

"It was known at York that the breaking up of the ice would be the signal for the sailing of the enemy's fleet."

"About 5 o'clock on Monday afternoon the 26th, some ten ships of the enemy were sighted from the 
Highlands of Scarborough about eight miles out on the lake, and steering apparently towards York." 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gaines Hastened To Offer His Services


"Major General Edmund Pendleton Gaines was born in Culpepper county, Virginia, on the 20th of March 1777.  ...he removed to Sullivan county afterwards the eastern part of Tennessee."

 "This portion of the state was then...[populated] by the Cherokee Indians who were very hostile to the whites and kept the border families in a constant state of terror and alarm. He [Gaines] became expert in the use of the rifle and studied as much of military tactics as he could... .  ...he was elected lieutenant at the age of eighteen, and in January, 1799, he was appointed ensign in the sixth regiment of infantry of the United States army (in 1800 he was transferred to the fourth regiment)... ."

"On the declaration of war in 1812 captain Gaines hastened to offer his services once more to his country."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sir John Harvey


Sir John Harvey, then Governor of Newfoundland, promised to put at his disposal his personal narrative of the campaigns of 1813 and 1814. His experience in the several capacities of the service from gentleman volunteer to Major in command of a battalion in action, would enable him to comment intelligently on the skirmishes, battles and strategical evolutions of the combatants.  [The text was taken from Major Richardson's War of 1812 book.]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Major Robert Sturgis

From the Indiana Authors And Their Books website:  Fort Harrison on the banks of the Wabash, 1812-1912:

Major Robert Sturgis. Appointed Ensign of the Second Infantry, September 28, 1812. Promoted to First Lieutenant March 9, 1814, and resigned February 10, 1818. He had served as a volunteer private in Captain Benj. Parks' troop of light dragoons, in the Tippecanoe campaign, and so was a builder of Fort Harrison. From many legends, he was so interesting a character, 'tis a pity more is not known of his history. He never married. He died in Terre Haute about 1828.

He was Treasurer of Vigo County 1823-1824, and Sheriff 1825-1826. Probably Fort Harrison ceased to be a military post about the time Major Sturgis resigned.

From the History of Terre Haute:
Poor Bob was a universal favorite; he would keep people laughing all the time he talked, and he talked about all the time. Ostensibly he was clerk in somebody's store, but his most constant occupation was drinking whisky.

Monday, April 21, 2014

General Tobias Stansbury


The General at Bladensburg:

General Stansbury arrived at Bladensburg on the 22d of the month and the Fifth Baltimore Regiment, together with the rifle corps and artillery, in the evening of the 23d. At twelve o'clock that night Colonel Monroe advised General Stansbury to fall upon the rear of the enemy forthwith, as it was understood that he was in motion for the city of Washington. General Stansbury, having been ordered to post himself at Bladensburg, did not consider himself at liberty to leave the place, and besides the fatigue of the troops under Colonel Sterret rendered it impracticable. [Source]


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Difficulty In Reducing The Debt

From the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission:

Once in office, he [Albert Gallatin] vigorously attacked the public debt, and through careful management of the country's finances he was able to reduce the debt materially until the War of 1812 made this policy impossible.

After 1811, it became increasingly unpleasant for him to remain as secretary of the treasury. It was with a feeling of great relief that in May, 1813, at the request of President Madison, he went to Russia to study the details of a Russian offer to mediate Anglo-American differences. He stayed in Russia several months, but nothing came of the Russian offer. In 1814, he was one of the five American commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Ghent which ended the war. It was now that he was officially replaced as secretary of the treasury.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

James Stewart, AWOL

British Military and Naval Records (RG 8, C Series) - INDEX ONLY
Microform: c-11837

Capt. 1st Lincoln Militia

Given evidence before Court-Martial for trial of James Stewart, absent without leave
Niagara 7-31-1812
c. 1700
p. 210

Friday, April 18, 2014

Survived The Battle Of River Raisin


20 February 1813
Buffalo, New York
Richard Hightower
Prisoner Of War On Parole With About 46 Regular Soldiers
And Part Of The 19th Regiment
...Surrendered By General Winchester
At Frenchtown (Battle of River Raisin)
January 22, 1813
Ashton Garrett mentioned

Another letter postmarked Nicholasville, Kentucky

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


As seen in The Plaindealer:

"The Canadians are well armed, hardy, inured to fatigue, abstemious in their habits, and thorough republicans in principle, as well as by the French laws of division of wealth. Guns are to be found in every house."

"As marksmen they are infinitely superiour to British soldiers, for (thanks to the absence of game laws) they are accustomed from infancy to the use of fire-arms. Their courage was well proved in the war of 1812, in which the chasseurs, voltigeurs, and battalions of militia of Lower Canada, were as gallant, fine looking, bold and effective troops a any in the service."

From Historic Canada, the Voltigeurs of the War of 1812:

"On 15 April, Lieutenant General Sir George Prevost, governor of British North America and commander of its armed forces, raised a Provincial Corps of Light Infantry in Lower Canada known as the Voltigeurs de Québec."

See what the uniform looks like here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dateline Detroit Circa 1818


I have the honor to transmit herewith, a list of officers....service of the 3rd Regiment....they are:
Bvt. Major Charles Larabee [who is in Hartford, Conn.]
1st Lt. J. Culbertson
2nd Lt. B. E. Burd
.....Capt. Mackinac, Green Bay or Chicago....
Jos. L. Smith, Col.
[Addressed To] Brig. Gen. D. Parker

Major Z. Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, also listed, as was E. Brooks of Detroit and L. Cass of Zanesville, Ohio.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lydia And Her Son Hiram

The Escape Of Lydia Hayward as portrayed in the Old Hay Bay Church website [see the map, too]:

[...story of an American family caught in Upper Canada by the outbreak of the war, and their escape. It is taken from a small book...entitled: Narrative of Mrs. Lydia [Barker] Hayward, including the Life, Call to the Ministry and Extensive Travels of Her Husband, the late Elder Joshua Hayward. Union Mills, N.Y., 1846. We pick up her story shortly after President Madison declared war on Britain, 18 June 1812.]

The biography of Hiram Hayward, Lydia's son, was found in the Portrait and Biographical Album of Sanilac County, Michigan:

Hiram Hayward, practicing physician resident on section 14 Worth Township, is the son of Joshua and Lydia (Barker) Hayward. The former was a native of Massachusetts, the latter of the State of New York. After their marriage they settled in Saratoga, N.Y., and in 1808 they removed to Canada, where they lived four years. Joshua Hayward was pressed into the British service during the contest of Great Britain with the United States, but he deserted at the end of a month and returned to his native State. He at once enlisted in the army of the United States and remained in the Federal service until the close of the war. He afterwards became a preacher and pursued that vocation 20 years.  He died May 17, 1840, near Richfield Springs, N.Y., aged 58 years.  His widow died Dec. 5, 1881, in Ontario, at the advanced age of 93 years.

Dr. Hayward is the eldest son of his parents, and was born in Jefferson Co., N.Y.,  Dec. 25, 1815. At the early age of nine years he became master of own maintenance which he secured entirely without assistance. He obtained a good education in common schools and by study at home under directions of his mother. He began to read medicine when he was 17 years old under the care of his uncle, Isaac Hayward, continuing with him three years when he lost his instructor by death.

He continued his professional career in the State New York until 1849 when he removed to Canada. He there combined the practice of medicine with ministry until 1866. In the summer of that year he went to Wisconsin with the purpose of making a permanent settlement, but found the selected locality distasteful and in September following he came to Michigan.

In 1867 he organized the Worth Christian Church and was its Pastor.

Hiram died on September 1, 1903, in Sanilac County, Michigan.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ill-Conceived Attack On Fort Bowyer


The War of 1812:... and Fort Bowyer:

[Another source named the Captain as Percy -- Percy or Perry?]

From the Life and times of Andrew Jackson:

"The significance of the great victory at Mobile may not be readily perceived.  Its place in history can only be appreciated by its environments.  It was the first battle ever fought by the British in what is known as the great Southwest."

Fort Bowyer Morphed To Fort Morgan.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Was Faribault A Trader And A Spy?


Excerpt from the Memoir of Jean Baptiste Faribault (also here)

When the war of 1812 was declared, the British Government made great efforts to enlist the Indians of the Northwest against the Americans. Knowing the great influence wielded by the traders among...[them], commissions in the British army were tendered to each of them, and they were accepted by all but Messrs. Faribault and Provencalle, who declined to take any part against the American Government. The subject of this memoir was consequently arrested by a Col. McCall [possibly McKay], of the British militia service, and held as a prisoner on a gunboat, commanded by a Capt. Henderson, on board of which were two hundred men, en route to Prairie du Chien to dislodge the Americans. He was ordered to take his turn at the oar, but absolutely refused, saying he was a gentleman, and not accustomed to that kind of labor.

This article at the Mississippi Brigade wondered if Faribault was a spy:

"But Faribault and U.S. interpreter Joseph La Rocque seemed to have been appearing British but were actually risking their lives to gather information at Prairie to aid Boilvin."
"Faribault appears to have been exposed as an American sympathizer in July of 1813, when his property is burned and possessions plundered by the Winnebago."

Faribault had declined the honor of serving for the British.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Major McFarland's Papers

From The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Volume 51, 1968, April   Number 2:

A Hawk of 1812
By John Newell Crombie

Major Daniel McFarland (1787 - 1814) of Washington County, Pennsylvania was commissioned in the 23rd U.S. Infantry on August 15, 1813 [also the 22nd U.S. Infantry].

"...nothing appears in the records until April1, 1814, when he began his journal."

Journal Kept by Maj. D. McFarland, Commencing the first Day of April 1814, 23rd Rgt Inftry:

April 2d, 1814
Left home in Washington Coty Pena for Sackets Harbor by order of the War Dept staid at Washington.
Left Washington accompanied by Capt. Morrow 22d Infty arrived at Pittsburgh
Staid at Pitt, found some old friends, viz Col Brady, Lt Guy, Green etc

He was killed at Lundy's Lane on 25 July 1814.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Remains of Earlier Fort Unearthed

Landmarks on the Niagara frontier: 

And for its special protection he [Montresor] erected a fortified blockhouse and quarters for soldiers on the brow of the mountain at its upper end.  These were supplemental to the fortified warehouse which the French had built near the same site in 1751, which stood back from the edge of the mountain.  The lower ends of the logs which formed the lower story of this special blockhouse of Montresor were unearthed in 1812 by the Americans in building Fort Gray on the same site.

Fort Gray   
(1812 - 1813), Lewiston
Located just north of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. It was to protect the northern end of the Niagara Falls portage. It was attacked and destroyed by the British in December 1813. No remains, no marker. Site was probably at Barton Hill, at North 3rd and Center Streets. The present Barton Hill Mansion was built in 1815.

Also Fort Grey?

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Flournoy And His Papers

Papers in the Clements Library include those of Thomas Flournoy:

Title: Thomas Flournoy papers
Inclusive dates: 1799-1827
Extent: 0.25 linear feet (105 items)
Abstract: The Thomas Flournoy papers consist of letters and documents of Flournoy, who was a lawyer, a general during the War of 1812, and a United States commissioner to the Creek Indians.

Map Of Creeks Nation

From The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812: Or, Illustrations:

"...General Flournoy, who succeeded General Wilkinson in command of the Seventh Military District, persuaded by Colonel Hawkins, Indian agent, of the civilization and friendly disposition of the Creeks, would not their prayer."

This source reflected on the efficiency (or lack thereof) of General Flournoy:

"Georgia and Tennessee very actively seconded the efforts of Mississippi and had General Flournoy been a more efficient commander, much effusion of blood and waste of property would have been spared." 

The General's Wife:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Slender Support Lent

Source - Fort Massac

"The slender support lent by the United States to Illinois Territory may be seen by the report of United States troops present on June 6, 1812, as certified by the Adjutant General, in and around Illinois being: Fort Massac, 36; Fort Madison, 44; Vincennes and vicinity, 117; Fort Dearborn, 53."

While the munitions issued were deplorably insufficient to maintain a show of aggression, as will be seen by "the returns of the number of troops in service on the peace establishment and additional military force of 1808." 

"Also stands of arms loaned to the militia, issued conformably to the law of April 23d, 1808; Illinois Territory, 216 stands of arms; 45 pistols; 216 equipments for muskets." [Source]

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Diary Of Lt. Lang Of The 19th Light Dragoons

Source (The Nineteenth...)

The War of 1812 Website (Canadian) featured The War from the Saddle: The Diary of Lieutenant John Lang, 19th Light Dragoons, 1813-14, an artifact that is held at the William R. Perkins Library of Duke University.  [I couldn't find a reference to the diary on the library's website]

" Lieutenant John Lang, whose service diary is the subject of this article, joined the Dragoons aboard the HMS Majestic on 5 April 1813."

Friday, April 4, 2014

Major Morgan, Commandant

Major Willoughby Morgan was a Commandant at Fort Harrison.

From Fort Harrison on the banks of the Wabash, 1812-1912:
It is known that Major Willoughby Morgan was in command of the Fort December 1815. When he succeeded Captain Taylor [later President Zachary Taylor] or whether there was another officer between them is not known. In about May, 1816, he was ordered to other duty by General Jackson, then Commander- in-Chief of the Army, and left Major John T. Chunn in command of the Fort. It is said that he rebuilt the Fort.

Fort Harrison is described in Wood's English Prairie... .  Major Willoughby Morgan enlisted in Virginia, served throughout the War of 1812-15, and at its close was retained as captain of a regular rifle regiment.  In 1817 he was promoted to a majoralty, and served continuously in the army until his death, April 4, 1832. [Source]

Major Willoughby Morgan's acceptance of the grade assigned, written 8 June 1815:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Captain Paschal Hickman

The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 7 (Google eBook)

Captain Hickman was severely wounded and was carried from the battlefield, both of his legs were shot off, or were so badly mangled that they were amputated the next morning, January 23, 1813.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

John Baker Wounded At Mackinac

While a resident of Madison County, Kentucky, John Baker enlisted April 1, 1812, served as a private in Captain Caleb Holder's Company, 17th Regiment United States Infantry, and in Brevet Major John T. Chunn's Company, 3d Regiment United States Infantry, was at the battle of Fort Michilimackinac, where he received three wounds, one in the right arm, one in the neck and one through the skull, in the front of his head, and was discharged April 1, 1817.

Source - National Archives Via Fold3

A disabled soldier of the Late War

Source - Fold3

From this site:

"Meanwhile, on 3 July, Lieutenant Colonel George Croghan sailed from Detroit to Michilimackinac. Three companies of the 17th Infantry participated in the unsuccessful attack on Fort Mackinaw on 4 August 1814 as did a detachment from the 19th Regiment."